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MY MOTHER IS A FORCE OF NATURE
David Gibson and his Mother
Texas State with a 4.0 GPA, the highest in her class. She gave the valedictory address to a crowd of thousands, literally the day after my daughter was
My Mom is a force of nature. As a business owner, college valedictorian, ex-mayor of New Braunfels, and woman with a list of accolades so long that I can’t fit them in this article, she’s one of the most impressive people I know. She’s also been — most importantly — an amazing Mom and a great role model and confidant for me, my daughter, and anyone else lucky enough to have her in their lives. With Mother’s Day right around the corner, it seemed the perfect opportunity to tell her story and remind her just how grateful I am for everything she’s done for me and my family over the years. My Mom, a Navy brat, was born in Washington, D.C. Even from a young age, she had a keen intelligence and naturally driven personality. When she had me just three months out of high school, she had to put her ambitions on hold for a few decades to focus on the business of being a great mother and, as was expected in those days, a housewife. From the beginning, though, she was a vital part of my life. Though she and my Dad got divorced when I was 11, and I no longer saw her every day, she remained one of my most important influences. I always knew I could count on her for a sympathetic ear or some tough love, no matter what I was going through. And she never let us win at games; we had to earn it. Just about the time I graduated from high school (one spot below where mom graduated — as she likes to remind me), Mom was finally able to kick her ambitions into high gear. She and her awesome husband (now of 35 years) started a real estate business and later an appraisal company and quickly gained a reputation throughout central Texas as expert appraisers. Mom became heavily involved in the politics of real estate, serving a term as president of the New Braunfels Board of Realtors and National President of the National Association of Master Appraisers, among other awards and prestigious designations, including Realtor of the Year.
born. I have no facts to back this up, but am pretty sure she was the first grandma to be valedictorian at the school, and maybe anywhere. A few years down the road, she ran for the City Council of New Braunfels, getting elected at the age of 58. After serving two terms on the council, she ran for mayor of the town and won — in her mid- 60s. If she hadn’t suffered an aortic aneurysm a few years later and needed open-heart surgery, she would no doubt have run for higher office as soon as she could. Of course, she claims that politics were interfering with her travel schedule. Mom has always been unstoppable, well-liked by almost everyone who meets her, and remarkably skilled at whatever she puts her mind to. Today, all the awards, plaques, and trophies (including several for public speaking and ballroom dancing!) are relegated to the walls and shelves in the garage, as she and my stepdad are too busy cruising the seas and taking road trips to Vegas, Branson, and the far corners of America (no kidding — Alaska to Florida) to see kids (six in all, plus spouses and grandkids). Fortunately, we travel well together and have had the joy of introducing them to Australia, while they introduced us to cruising. When I look at my Mom’s life and accomplishments, I realize that if she’d had the opportunities at 18 that she had at 58 — and I say this with all sincerity — she could have been the president of the United States. She’s the queen mother of our clan, an inspiration to everyone around her, and the very best role model that a father could have for his 24-year-old daughter. It’s impossible for me to express just how grateful I am for her presence in my life, even at 53. Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!
Somewhere along the line, Mom got restless and went back to school to secure a degree in finance. In her late 40s, she graduated from
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A little customer appreciation can go a long way — after all, everyone likes to be treated well by the people they do business with. But if your appreciation stops at holiday cards and birthday offers, you might be missing the mark. Summer tends to be the slow season, so take the extra time to plan a new way to show customers you care. HOST A SUMMER EVENT There’s no need to plan a black-tie gala. Summer is the season of relaxation, so keep it low-key, and let your clients know they are welcome to bring their friends and family. Here are a few fun ideas to consider: • Host a barbecue at the office or local park. Make sure you have the proper permits first. • Book a movie theater and show the latest blockbuster. (We hear “Avengers: Infinity War” is pretty awesome.) CUSTOMER APPRECIATION ISN’T SEASONAL AN AGENCY THAT’S ALL ABOUT THE CLIENT We at the Gibson Law Group have the unique privilege of serving some of the most talented and trustworthy business leaders from throughout Texas and beyond. We appreciate the faith these clients put in us at every step and strive to foster genuine relationships with those we serve, creating a partnership that will last years. Whenever we get the chance, we love to highlight the people and companies that work with us and make our practice possible. That’s why, this month, we’re excited to introduce our readers to Abacus Insurance & Financial Services! Though our offices are both in the same building, that’s not the only reason we’ve represented them for over six years — they’re a group of experienced, friendly, and skilled insurance professionals eager to help their clients in any way they can. Abacus is a full-service independent agency with a wide array of offerings, from home insurance to business insurance and everything in between. With access to over 200 insurance companies, they pride themselves on providing their clients with quotes from dozens of carriers, helping them to zero in on the best possible coverage. This process nets clients huge savings while giving them a plethora of choices to ensure they’re getting exactly what they need. Meet Abacus Insurance & Financial Services
HEAT UP THE SLOW MONTHS WITH A ‘WOW!’
• Plan an adults-only scavenger hunt. Include local landmarks, offer prizes, and provide grown-up beverages afterward to make the event really memorable. • Throw a block party. This one requires some planning, but if you pull it off, your clients will talk about it until next summer! DELIVER ONE BIG ‘WOW’ Social media makes it pretty easy to keep up with everyone’s lives, so look for an opportunity to make a great impression on one customer. Maybe a client is expecting their first grandchild. Could they use a new stroller? Is a wedding anniversary coming up? Who wouldn’t love a limo ride and dinner at the nicest restaurant in the city? Go a bit over the top! People love to share stories on social media about the cool, unexpected things businesses do. Wouldn’t you like to go viral for a good reason?
“If we can help our clients save 20–22 percent on their rates, that’s huge,” says owner Rafiq Hassan. “What we’ve realized is that sometimes insurance agencies get complacent and fail to search for the best deals. But not us. We have tried to create a value system in which we’re always looking for the best price across a number of carriers, searching for the best products at the best rates for every one of our clients.” We’re proud to represent a company so dedicated to serving their clients to the best of their ability. And luckily, the feeling is mutual! “David Gibson is a great guy with a great team behind him,” Rafiq says. “Whenever we can, we try to refer business back-and-forth between one another.” If you’re in need of insurance of any kind or just want to see if you might be able to shave a few dollars off your rates, we recommend you give Abacus Insurance & Financial Services a call at (972) 600- 8460 or visit their webiste at www.abacusinsurance.net. You can rest assured they’ll do everything they can to save you the most money possible.
STARTING A BUSINESS WITH OTHERS?
PLAN AHEAD TO AVOID BEING STUCK TO YOUR FORMER BEST FRIEND
SEND CARDS FOR STRANGE HOLIDAYS Sure, you mail cards during the winter holidays, but so does everyone else. Why not mail a card for National Doughnut Day on June 1? You can even include a coupon to a local doughnut shop. Or you can send a funny card with a picture of your office dog for National Mutt Day to announce that, thanks to your client’s support, your company is donating to a local animal shelter. These ideas may work great for your clients, or you might need to brainstorm a bit. Your clients are as unique as your company, so don’t hesitate to find a special way to show them you care. SUDOKU
When starting a business, many individuals realize the importance of creating a new business entity (corporation, limited liability company, or limited partnership) to reduce and eliminate personal liability for unexpected events and unfortunate outcomes. While it may be difficult to imagine the universe of potential issues when forming a new business entity, planning ahead should extend past the documents filed with the state. It is equally if not more important to plan ahead to avoid or eliminate internal problems and management issues that may arise when you go into business with others. It may be difficult to raise this subject with other founding owners, partners, or members; after all, no one likes to go into business planning for failure, especially with friends or family. And you may not be able to predict how your future business partners will react to this pressure. If you set clear expectations, duties, authority, and even a possible off-ramp for you and other business partners upfront, however, you can save yourself even more stress — and a lot of money — in the long run. Even in a small business started by friends or family, you should create a governing document to establish each owner, member, or partner’s rights and responsibilities in the event an owner wants or needs to exit the business. Indeed, if you are a minority stakeholder in a business, it is critical that you contractually protect your rights and remedies in the company in advance. For decades, Texas law allowed a minority stakeholder in a closely held company to sue and seek a buyout when faced with an “oppressive” majority shareholder. This changed in 2014 when the Texas Supreme Court held that a minority shareholder has “no statutory right to exit the [business] venture and receive a return of capital.” Through this opinion, the Texas Supreme Court dramatically curbed the ability of minority business owners to seek legal redress for oppressive conduct by a majority owner. Instead, a minority shareholder’s legal recourse against an oppressive stakeholder is now effectively limited to the following causes of action: (1) an accounting; (2) breach of fiduciary duty; (3) breach of contract; (4) fraud and constructive fraud; (5) conversion; (6) fraudulent transfer; (7) conspiracy; (8) unjust enrichment; and (9) quantum meruit. None of these legal remedies require the oppressive stakeholder to return the minority shareholder’s capital. In its opinion, the court repeatedly stressed that owners of a closely held corporation can contract to expressly deal with issues that often arise in the context of closely held corporations. This curtailment of shareholder rights may effectively leave you stuck in a business where you do not have any management authority. If you are starting a business, you have a myriad of legal issues that you should consider and guard against, including contractually setting forth the rights and responsibilities of each owner of your new business. At The Gibson Law Group, PC, we work hard to help you protect your legal interest at the outset of your new business in order to prevent and eliminate later litigation and disputes.
THE ANSWER ( )
TAKE A BREAK
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IN SIDE Why David Gibson Thinks His Mom Could’ve Been President The Most Unique Customer Appreciation Ideas Ever Introducing Abacus, This Month’s Client Spotlight Plan Ahead When Starting a Business With Others
Take a Break!
The Key to a Memorable Vacation
ART Just as your town probably has local artisans who produce unique and interesting work, the same is true for your vacation destination. Anyone can get a gift shop bauble that was mass- produced somewhere else. Take the time to peruse market stalls and craft fairs while you travel. It can lead you to some truly special souvenirs, and you’ll support the arts and traditions of the region! PEOPLE While you’re out sampling local restaurants and exploring local markets, you’ll meet plenty of local people. Don’t be afraid to strike up a friendly conversation. You can make new friends around the globe and learn about their unique experiences. One of the most enriching experiences in life is meeting new people and gaining new perspectives. MEMORIES Treasured memories are the best souvenir you can bring home from any vacation. So you owe it to yourself to get out and explore! BUY LOCAL WHEN YOU’RE ABROAD Enrich Your Vacation
The virtues of buying locally sourced food and supporting small businesses have been widely extolled. But we rarely think to apply the same practices when we travel. Many Americans spring for all- inclusive packages when planning their next summer vacation, but doing so means they’ll miss out on some of the best aspects of the culture they’re visiting. Part of the joy of traveling is having new experiences you can’t have at home. Whether you’re in another state or another country, you owe it to yourself to seek out the unique aspects of that location. But to find the character and quirks of your destination, you’ll have to explore beyond the hotel lobby. FOOD Why have a cheeseburger from a fast-food chain when you can try a local favorite? A great way to start is by asking your taxi driver or hotel concierge about their favorite place to eat. You’ll discover new foods and flavor combinations, and the locally owned restaurant is sure to appreciate your business!
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